About A Family Fun Affair Book Celebrating 100 Saginaw County Fairs by Author Roselynn Ederer
A Family Fun Affair Book Celebrating 100 Saginaw County Fairs was written to celebrate the fair’s centennial in 2013. A completely researched narrative covers the fair’s beginning behind the stove at Popp’s Hardware Store in the winter of 1914 and its move to their new fairgrounds in Chesaning in 2002. The Saginaw Fair was known as “The largest county fair in America east of the Rockies” during its heyday in the 1950s to 1970s. Every year, over 300,000 people attended the fair, with just under 500,000 by the early 1970s. This fair drew people from all over Michigan as well as from other states to participate and exhibit.
This book is a good read of how a struggling small fair began in an open, swampy farm field with no buildings whatsoever. Dedicated volunteer farmers and capable management helped the fair expand and grow until it became the largest county fair in the country. Almost one-half million people would attend the large fair annually. Then in the 1970s, when society, the city, and its neighborhood, began deteriorating, the fair also declined. It met its demise altogether in 1999 when a descendant of one of the original founders donated his open farm field to the bankrupt fair. In 2002, dedicated volunteers again worked to open its renewed fair in Chesaning. It has steadily grown and expanded since then.
The 8.5 by 11 soft-cover book has 216 pages with over 400 photos and a 16-page section of colored photos for each chapter. A Table of Contents with 26 chapters, Bibliography, Index, and a Commemorative Color Album are also included in this book.
Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed the Saginaw County Fair since its first agricultural four-day fair in 1914. During its heyday the eight-day fair was the “largest county fair in America east of the Rockies”. Then, declining attendance almost brought the demise to the downsized four-day fair. But dedicated corps of volunteers renovated the century-old fair into a renewed Chesaning agricultural exhibition.
Who would be interested in this book?
People who have attended the fair in the past—during the 1950s all Saginaw schools were closed on Monday so school age children could attend free. These children are now in their 60s-70s. People, including former 4-H members, who have exhibited at this fair or other fairs may also be interested. History buffs, historical museums, and fair enthusiasts would like this thoroughly researched book.